Author: Tastes Seoul Good

New, Philippines travel series

Halo Halo – A unique Filipino dessert (topped with ice cream and CORN!)


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Recently, I was in Boracay, Philippines for a little vacation. I was able to try a lot of great foods. However, one evening I decided it was time to try a local dessert. The one that I kept being recommended was called ‘HALO HALO’… So I set off to experience my very first Filipino halo halo!

They say you never forget your first time! Pretty sure I’ll never forget the first taste of halo halo!

Halo halo is a unique dessert. To put it simply, it is shaved ice with a variety of toppings. This is nothing new. Koreans eat ‘bingsu’. Americans eat snow cones. Shaved ice isn’t revolutionary.

What sets halo halo apart is the sheer amount of ingredients. Each place serves it a little differently, so no two halo halos will ever be the same. My halo halo included shaved ice, vanilla ice cream, red beans, CORN, corn flakes, ube paste, coconut, and a variety of different cubes with a jelly-like texture.

Watch my entire experience here!

While the recipe for halo halo might change, it seems that the shaved ice, condensed milk, red beans, and ube are staples.

Halo halo is refreshing, yet also quite complex. It is also a visually stunning dessert.

The key to eating halo halo is in the name. It literally translates to ‘mix, mix’. While the tower of ingredients might look pretty, you’ll want to take the time to mix everything up and eat all the ingredients together.

I found that the more ingredients I had in each bite, the better the dessert tasted. Each ingredient seemed to play a role. The ice cream and condensed milk gave sweetness. The jellies added texture. The cornflakes gave a bit of crunch. The corn added a bit of saltiness. Everything combined to make a symphony of deliciousness in my mouth.

Give it a nice mix! Be sure to grab a little of everything when you taste it!

Overall, halo halo is a great dessert. It is very sweet, though. So I believe these might be good for sharing. The price is quite affordable, though some upscale places to sell luxury versions of the dessert.

No trip to the Philippines would be complete without trying halo halo!

Have you tried halo halo? Tell me in the comments below!

Watch more of my Philippines travel series (2019) here!

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New, Philippines travel series

Kalibo Public Market is amazing!


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See below for our Kalibo Public Market vlog!

The Philippines has over 7000 islands. While I wish I had the time to explore each of those islands, I just don’t. However, I recently had the chance to head to the city of Kalibo, located on the Aklan province.

Kalibo is a small town, most well known for its airport. The Kalibo International Airport serves as one of two major hubs to the tropical island of Boracay. Many visitors fly into Kalibo, and then jet off on the two hour ride to Boracay.

Kalibo Tricycle
The ‘tricycle’ is the main mode of transportation in Kalibo. They are cheap, and interesting to ride in. Who knows, you might even find the Hello Kitty tricycle!

During this trip, I decided to stay in Kalibo and explore a bit. And I am glad I did!

The hotel I stayed at, Cess Summer Boutique Hotel, was great! Not only was it affordable, it was very close to the airport (5 minutes), and was walkable to the market, as well as other places for shopping and eating. The hotel had fast Wi-Fi, was clean, and had a great breakfast! I would definitely stay there again when I am in Kalibo!

Cess Summer Boutique Hotel in Kalibo, Philippines. 

Transportation and SIM cards were easy to set up. I had booked both (as well as my transfer to Boracay) using an app called ‘Klook’. This made things super simple, and was cheaper than booking on-site. Klook is one of the apps I always use when traveling. Save $5 on your first activity by using this link!

One of the highlights of Kalibo was the Kalibo Public Market. This large local market is home to a variety of meat, produce, and food vendors. There were plenty of street food vendors as well. 

The people were lovely. I had a great time walking through the market and chatting with people who were happy to see a foreigner visiting their local market.

kalibopm
Locals at the Kalibo Public Market were all smiles as I walked around.

On Sundays, this market is even bigger as it is surrounded by people selling clothing and other small items, similar to a flea market. It is open until 12 noon. However, I wasn’t very interested in that section, as there was nothing that I would purchase there.

As I was walking around, I was able to to try all kinds of local foods, including lumpia, fresh mango, pandan juice, and more. Everything was quite affordable, and delicious! Even though this is a public market, things seemed to be very clean and hygenic.

kalibo2
So much good food! Walking through the market, I wanted to try everything!

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I especially enjoyed the ‘nuggets’ that were being sold outside the market. These were small pieces of chicken that were deep fried. I dipped the skewered chicken nuggets into a spicy vinegar sauce. They were delicious!

kalibo nuggets
These tents selling nuggets were scattered around outside the market. Each skewer was being sold for only 5 PHP. Be sure to dip them in the vinegar sauce (no double dipping, please!)

Overall, it was a great day. I could have spent all day walking around and trying different foods.

I would highly recommend checking the Kalibo Public Market out, if you’re in the area!

Be sure to see my entire experience in the vlog!

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About


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Paul loves to travel, and can normally be found at a local street food cart. Luckily for you, he often has a camera with him, so you can enjoy the experience with him!

food reviews, Korea restaurant reviews, Seoul Restaurant Reviews

Kim’s Taco in Gangnam – worth the hype?


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Having lived in Korea for a decade, I have been to my fair share of Mexican restaurants. I remember being so happy when Taco Bell opened its doors in Itaewon, as it finally meant reliable TexMex food. I could always count on them to deliver tasty, greasy, yet semi-affordable tacos and burritos.

 

Fast forward a few years later, and I was invited to check out a new restaurant in Gangnam, Seoul. The restaurant is called Kim’s Taco, and is owned by some Korean Americans from Los Angeles who decided to bring LA style Mexican foods to Seoul.

Check out my full review on YouTube-

I arrived at the restaurant at 4 PM on a Saturday. They had just re-opened after taking a short afternoon break. The restaurant immediately filled up, and the kitchen had to go into overdrive to meet the demands of the patrons. Luckily, I was able to secure a seat on their small patio outside.

kims taco featured.jpg
Look at this feast! If the weather is nice, definitely try to sit outside!

We started the meal with a signature cocktail – the Cantaritos. This large cocktail combines classic Korean soju with Jarritos – a Mexican soda made with cane sugar. The result was something that tasted like a light margarita. Was refreshing, but also packed a nice alcohol punch!

The serving was for 2, however I may have consumed it all by myself. Ooops! Cost: 15000 KRW (can also be made with tequila)

Next up we were able to sample a variety of tacos, quesadillas, as well as their french fries.

I quite enjoyed all the food that I tasted. Portions were quite large, and the price was very reasonable. I personally really enjoyed the fish tacos. The fish was light and flakey, and was battered using Cass beer.

The fish tacos (upper right) were some of my favorites! The french fries were also pretty spectacular.

What makes Kim’s Taco unique is the fact that they hand press the tortillas throughout the day. This, combined with their other fresh ingredients, makes for an experience similar to what I would have in the USA.

The restaurant mainly serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and tostada bowls. Each item can be served with either chicken, beef, or pork.

Beef tacos and pork tacos on fresh flour tortillas, topped with diced onion and fresh cilantro. Yum!
L: Cantaritos cocktail R: Asada Fries
These two things go together very well! Bring a friend and share!

If you wish to check out Kim’s Taco – I would recommend going early, as the shop is small, and seating is limited. Also, plan to check out their cocktails! I would also advise bringing a group of people, if possible, and ordering family style. This way, you’re able to try as many different foods as possible!

 

Kim’s Taco is located between Gangnam Station and Yeoksam Station.

**Although we were invited to the restaurant in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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food reviews, Korea restaurant reviews, New, Seoul Restaurant Reviews

Korea’s craziest treat: introducing the Churro Dog!


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Korea is home to some amazing treats – and some of them are quite unique!

Recently, we tried out the newest invention hitting the streets: the churros dog (츄로 도그)! This unique street food is a hot dog on a stick, wrapped with fresh churro batter, deep fried, then covered in cinnamon, sugar, ketchup, and mustard!

Watch our review here:

If you want to try this unique treat, you’ll have to check out the seller’s Instagram account. For this video, I headed to Jamsil in Seoul. The price of the churro dog costs 3500 KRW.

churro dog in seoul
Churro Dog and truck in Jamsil, Seoul (잠실 츄로 도그)

If you are visiting South Korea, you’ll have an almost endless amount of street foods to try out. However, this one is one of the most unique foods you can try, and is perfect for Instagram!

츄로 도그
The churro dog is delicious! Try it out today!